The Metropolitan in Beaver Creek features big city style with mountain vibes.
By Melanie Wong and Phil Lindeman
Step into the doors of Beaver Creek’s newest eatery, The Metropolitan, and you might think you’ve left the mountains for the city.
The newly opened lounge, which is serving up gourmet coffee, quick breakfasts, tapas and drinks, boasts chic urban décor, with exposed rafters reminiscent of a New York City warehouse. It is located unassumingly below its sister restaurant, The Dusty Boot. With most of the interior design, from bricklaying to the woodwork to the lighting, done by local specialists, the place is sophisticated, but also cozy – that’s exactly what owner John Shipp intends. He’s also quick to point out that the food is reasonably priced – you could walk out with a coffee and breakfast for $7 to $10.
“I spend a lot of time up here, especially in the morning, and I noticed that there’s no quick place to get breakfast. Our tagline is ‘refined meets relaxed,’” he says. “My vision was to create a comfortable yet stylish and urban environment where people can relax and have a great time.”
SneakPEAK editor Melanie Wong and reporter Phil Lindeman dropped by The Met to check it out and bring you their top picks.
The Met’s menu is simple. In the morning, it serves ready-to-go breakfasts. Later in the afternoon, light lunchers and apre skiers can come in for tapas, which range from traditional Spanish bites to American takes such as deviled eggs.
The focus is on fresh, high-quality ingredients, from fresh croissants for breakfast sandwiches to homemade balsamic potato chips as appetizers, says Executive Chef Mike Bickelhaupt.
PL: It seems everyone has a breakfast burrito, but Bickelhaupt’s version sticks to the restaurants “grab-and-go” philosophy without sacrificing flavor. Sized between Chipotle and Taco Bell, it has bacon, chorizo, chopped green chiles, potatoes, eggs and two cheeses, all wrapped in a green chipotle tortilla. It seems silly to overanalyze a burrito, but by ditching grease and soupy chile, it’s a good companion for the chairlift. I could do without the flavored tortilla, but I also like white bread.
MW: My personal favorite is “The Met,” their signature breakfast sandwich – it’s fried eggs, chipotle aioli, applewood bacon and cheese served on the flakiest croissant ever. I’m not usually a bacon and eggs kind of girl, but this sandwich just worked so well together. And I love the spicy kick the aioli gives it.
PL: Bacon is an essential food group, especially in the a.m. But I was blown away by “The Veg,” the meat-free counterpart to “The Met” and a surprisingly hearty sandwich. Served on either a croissant or bagel are fresh tomato, spinach, fried egg and eggplant puree. Yes, eggplant puree. I’m glad I tried it before judging – the puree adds a savory, almost meaty texture that made me (almost) forget about bacon.
MW: So let’s say you pop in later in the day. I appreciate the idea of tapas-style dining because it’s a great way to try different dishes and share with friends. The Met has a pretty neat collection of tapas dishes, from the classic Spanish albondigas (meatballs) to the Latin-inspired pulled-pork tacos. Check out the imported Iberico ham, chorizo and Manchego cheese – it’s authentic stuff!
The beverages can easily steal the show at The Met. The coffee is from Dazbog roasters, a Colorado-based company. The restaurant also has one of three Enomatic wine dispensers of its kind in the state, allowing guests to try different wines in various quantities.
MW: So I’m a bit of a coffee snob. My eyebrows definitely perked up upon taking a sip of my cappuccino – I didn’t even want to add sugar. Dazbog beans are apparently specially roasted to create an even, well-oiled beans, and you can taste the difference. I’ll be coming here for my pre-ski caffeine fix.
PL: As a Denver native, I grew up with Dazbog, but had no idea they made teas. The five varieties of loose-leaf teas are a welcome change from dried bags, especially the bold but creamy White Earl Grey. The leaves tinge it with a wild, almost piney flavor that doesn’t taste packaged. Baristas steep it in an actual pot – what? – or special bags to go.
Now, about that giant, glass-encased obelisk of a wine dispenser in the middle of the room...
MW: Yep... at first you might wonder why a wine dispenser is being used as a center piece. It’s actually a really cool concept. You can load a card – basically a wine debit card – swipe it, and try a variety of wines in the case. You can buy 1 oz. or purchase a whole glass. It’s a great way to try different vinos.
The 2,500 square-foot restaurant has space for all occasions – a seat by the window to enjoy a quick breakfast, a prominent coffee and drink bar, and large circular lounge sofas for late night drinks with friends.
PL: Even though everything is less than three weeks old, the brickwork and reclaimed wood floors make it feel lived in – not worn or abused. It’s the sort of place I’d be comfortable wearing dress shoes, but probably wouldn’t wipe them off before going inside.
MW: The circular sofas are still my favorite feature. They create an intimate setting for a group hangout or party, and you won’t have to yell down the table to be heard. It gives the space it’s club-like vibe – looks like a scene out of a vodka commerical.
But then there’s the cozy coffee shop side. The Met will be displaying art from various Colorado artists. Check out Art for Orphans on display beginning this Friday.